My brother leaves today to go back to his Army way of life. In the month he’s been here, he and I have not fought even once. Not once have we squabbled over the TV remote. There has been no excessive use of magic phrases -- shut up, get out, fuck you. Instead, we have grown to converse. We now say hi to each other. (Sometimes even Goodnight. ) The barking and spewing rabid abuses at each other for no real reason have almost completely stopped.
We still talk rubbish; words for the sake of the sound, reminders of our childhood, noises we used to make, phrases that tickled us, all that. But we no longer bash each other up in between this foolishness. He doesn’t use his strength to overpower me and bend my fingers till they go numb. I don’t shriek for either parent to intervene whenever he yanks my hair. We don’t raise voices and bang on bathroom doors -- dhaad dhaad dhaad! I don’t snap. I don't call him a jobless dodo with no life. We've grown up, looks like. And we're still thick, I'd say, having come around to being relatively normal, behaving rationally, dispensing advice, and discussing love lives and heartbreaks. It’s cool. I like this restrained temper avatar of ours. Zen in our stupidity but the maturity is new.